SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 16 of 58

T H E O P E N A R T R O O M CONTINUED ON PAGE 39. E mily sat at the artroom table and watched as her class - mates gathered supplies for their projects. Still, Emily sat. Even though the shelves were full of art supplies, she didn't know what to get. She didn't know what she wanted to make. Everyone else seemed to know what they were doing. Emily didn't want to look "stupid," so she sat and did nothing. She sat, just like she had the day before and the day before that. Today, however, there was some- thing different at her table. In front of her was a square piece of card - board. Next to that, a set of oil pas- tels and a few cotton swabs. Emily watched the other students at her table. Nobody seemed to be using them. Perhaps someone in the previ - ous class had forgotten to put them away. Emily decided to move the cardboard closer. Nobody seemed to mind, so she pulled the oil pastels closer too. Emily wondered how the oil pastels would look on the card - board. She lifted a light blue pastel from the tray and drew a flower petal on the cardboard. It spread easily and looked bright against the brown board. Emily drew three more pet - als. She added some dark blues for shadows then some white for high - lights. As Emily sat there making art, she was unaware that all of this was part of her teacher's plot. She had unwittingly fallen into an art trap. Art Traps At the 2015 NAEA National Con- vention, art educator Nan Hathaway presented a concept she described as the "art trap." The art trap is a method of gaining a reluctant stu - dent's consent to participate freely in the creative process. The art trap need not be overly complicated. An art trap can be as simple as leaving a cardboard square, a thin brush, and tempera paint on the table. This short list of supplies can prove irre - sistible to students. There is some- thing nonthreatening about these inexpensive materials, which makes the art trap more enticing. Students aren't afraid they'll make a mistake. Easy Traps Clyde Caw, a high-school TAB art teacher from Indiana, shared with me what he titled a drawing box art trap: "Set small sketching paper, pen - cils, tape, and other drawing materi- als in a small cardboard box with an attached invitation sign. Place near the student, then walk away." He mentioned another art trap invented by art teacher Clark Fralick. For this trap, place small amounts of paint in a box with paper and marbles. Set down near the student. Walk away. In both cases, there are no lengthy directions or complicated instruc - tions. The freedom to use the materi- als in any way the student chooses adds to the enticement. Customized Trap Though most art traps might be labeled as generic, the art teacher may consider customizing the mate - rials to match a student's interest. Trey, a student in my fourth block class, wasn't interested in traditional art materials. He did however, find video games intriguing. I decided to post a question on an art teacher Facebook group, asking about pos - Art Traps for Reluctant Students Ian Sands Emily, oil pastel drawing. The art trap is a method of gaining a reluctant student's consent to participate freel in the creative process. 12 SUMMER 2018 SchoolArts

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